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Mary Maschal



Mary Maschal (1924-1998) is a special inductee; she was the co-founder and first president of the Women's History Reclamation Project in 1983. Maschal assembled an extensive collection of memorabilia and artifacts, filling virtually every room of her Golden Hill home with historic documents, banners, posters, and books. In 1995, at the urging of family and friends, Mary opened her home to the public and held exhibitions of her vast collection. The enthusiasm over Mary's collection, generated by the Open House, and the need in San Diego for a museum dedicated solely to women and their stories brought forth the Women's History Reclamation Project.

Maschal wanted to become a preacher like her father, but heard the continuous rejection that "girls don't do that." Thus, Maschal followed tradition; she got married and raised five children. Then, in the 1950�s, she discovered that some women did occupy traditional male occupations. Upon regaining a sense of resistance towards tradition, she devoted herself to improving the status and self-esteem of women by exposing the struggles and accomplishments they faced. As president of the WHRP, she collected books, historical papers, and artifacts; she gave talks in schools and community groups; she lobbied politicians and activists; she applied for grants; she appealed to donors; she preserved oral histories namely by women; she traveled to women's conferences; she persuaded women from all walks of life to come volunteer with her "at the Project."

As a participant in the Second Wave of Feminism, she was an early member of the National Organization for Women; Women's Conference in Houston (1977) and the U.N. Mid-Decade Conference for Women in Copenhagen (1980). She developed a "handywoman" business. An advocate of women's rights in organized religion, she helped create a Women and Religion Resolution in 1977 in the Unitarian Universalist Association. Mary envisioned a center where all women felt welcome and inspired--accessible to those who could not afford college or would never otherwise learn about women. With the help of talented co-founders, the WHRP moved from her home to

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